Collectively Enabling Safer and More Affordable Prescriptions
Arming Healthcare Professionals with Actionable Patient Intelligence
The Surescripts Network Alliance includes virtually all EHRs, PBMs, pharmacies and clinicians, plus an increasing number of health plans, long-term and post-acute care organizations and specialty pharmacy organizations.
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Our purpose is to serve the nation with the single most trusted and capable health information network. Since 2001, Surescripts has led the movement to turn health data into actionable intelligence to increase patient safety, lower costs and ensure quality care. Visit us at www.surescripts.com and follow us at twitter.com/surescripts.
Surescripts is privately owned by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), CVS Health and Express Scripts.
Surescripts is headquarted in Arlington, VA and maintains additional offices in Minneapolis, MN, Portland, OR and Raleigh, NC.
Organizations from across the healthcare marketplace help make Surescripts solutions valuable for all who participate. We call this powerful collaboration the Surescripts Network Alliance.
All Surescripts customers and end-users are part of the Surescripts Network Alliance. This includes virtually all electronic health records (EHRs), pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), pharmacies and clinicians, plus an increasing number of health plans, long-term and post-acute care organizations, and specialty pharmacy organizations.
If your organization uses any Surescripts solution, you're already part of the Surescripts Network Alliance—welcome! If you aren't yet connected to Surescripts, contact us to learn more.
As the nation's largest health information network, the Surescripts Network Alliance connects an array of participants from across the healthcare marketplace that's unprecedented in both size and scope. Combined with our broad portfolio of solutions, these connections put us in a unique position to effectively enhance prescribing, inform care decisions and advance healthcare for all.
In addition to our solutions, participants access three core elements unique to the Surescripts Network Alliance: our Intelligence Enablers, our Trust, Quality & Reliability initiatives and our Governance best practices. Click here to learn more about these elements.
The Surescripts Network Alliance enhances prescribing by collectively enabling safer and more affordable prescriptions. Four primary Surescripts solution areas work together to enhance prescribing.
Surescripts informs care decisions by arming healthcare professionals with actionable patient intelligence. Four primary Surescripts solution areas work together to inform care decisions.
Surescripts convenes experts and workgroups from across the Surescripts Network Alliance and partners with leading industry organizations and standards bodies to advance healthcare through research, analysis, education and advocacy.
Visit our news center to learn more about how Surescripts is advancing healthcare.
We are taking action against this public health crisis through a combination of technology, education and public policy.
Several Surescripts solutions can directly enhance prescribing and inform care decisions around opioids to help curb fraud and abuse. E-Prescribing customers can access complete medication histories from within the e-prescribing workflow to spot any medications that could adversely interact with a new opioid prescription. Record Locator & Exchange helps prescribers quickly identify any care patterns that might impact the decision to prescribe opioids, while Clinical Direct Messaging lets them contact other clinicians for more information on any red flags they observe.
Once a prescriber decides opioids are the right treatment option, Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) eliminates opportunities to alter or divert a paper prescription. And once the patient leaves the office, Insights for Medication Adherence can help monitor that the prescription is being filled as intended.
See our Intelligence in Action portal for the latest news on our ongoing efforts to combat opioid abuse, including research and federal and state advocacy.
The Surescripts Network Alliance continuously works to improve data quality for the benefit of every pharmacist, prescriber and patient.
Surescripts Sentinel® monitors and analyzes the electronic prescriptions that cross our network and identifies opportunities to improve their accuracy. In 2017, we measured a 26% improvement in e-prescription accuracy by optimizing the e-prescribing process across five key elements: Drug Description, Representative National Drug Code (NDC), RxNorm, Structured and Codified Sig and Potency Unit Code. We also launched the Surescripts White Coat Award™, which recognizes EHRs and health systems contracted with Surescripts that have taken meaningful steps to improve e-prescription accuracy.
See our Intelligence in Action portal for updates on our work to improve prescription accuracy.
A truly interoperable network is required to provide actionable patient intelligence that leads to better healthcare decisions. Accordingly, interoperability is a major focus for Surescripts. We started with E-Prescribing, but today our entire portfolio of solutions supports the interoperability goals of the nation. Among other interoperability initiatives, Surescripts is a founding member of the Sequoia Project’s Carequality collaborative and DirectTrust, which supports secure, interoperable health information exchange via the Direct message protocols.
See our Intelligence in Action portal for news on our interoperability efforts.
The Critical Performance Improvement program aims to improve the quality of the e-prescriptions flowing through the Surescripts network. Program initiatives include prescription accuracy, process improvements, adoption acceleration and directory integrity.
We regularly convene more than 200 stakeholders from across the Surescripts Network Alliance to identify, plan and execute 11 critical performance improvements to enhance patient safety and workflow efficiency.
We help set industry standards by serving in numerous National Council for Prescription Drug Plans leadership roles, and more than 35 committees, including the Standardization Work Group and Work Group 11.
Surescripts stores basic demographic information, provided by healthcare providers, for purposes of patient matching and identification. Patient demographics include:
During the admission process, patient consent and HIPAA notification are standard processes, especially for purposes of treatment, healthcare operations, or payment. All queries and responses are made automatically through secured system to system communications. The response is returned to a patient record in a clinical setting and role based security determines which personnel have access to the information. Surescripts also contractually requires all certified software vendors to follow local, state and federal level privacy and security requirements.
Surescripts is a HIPAA Business Associate and must comply with HIPAA Standards. At Surescripts, we are committed to respecting patients' rights to maintain the privacy of their health information and ensuring appropriate security of all protected health information.
Many state-supported e-prescribing pilot programs are designed to help contain the rising costs of state-funded Medicaid programs. Other state initiatives focus more broadly on developing programs to accelerate the adoption of e-prescribing and EHRs and models to leverage regional health information organizations (RHIOs). E-prescribing is generally addressed in two different ways on the state level. First, via a targeted approach where legislation provides incentives for adoption and use of e-prescribing, or creating demonstration projects to assess the financial and efficiency gains of e-prescribing. Second, legislative approaches sometimes roll e-prescribing requirements into larger health reform bills.
Surescripts can help support your efforts to promote e-prescribing with important data and information for presentations. Click here to request more information
Surescripts has more than a decade of experience developing a nationwide network to enable electronic prescribing and facilitate the secure exchange of health information. Through the Surescripts network, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others can communicate with each other like a team, sharing information to reduce errors, improve efficiency, and save money.
Today, Surescripts connects nearly 1 million healthcare professionals, more than 3,000 hospitals, and more than 700 software applications, providing the ability to exchange critical information on more than 230 million patients. Surescripts is uniquely positioned to leverage our assets and extract more value from our network to improve the patient and provider experience. We’re using our unique experience as the nation’s e-prescription network® and building on it to exchange massive amounts of health information, including medication histories, prior authorizations and other complex clinical messages.
The NCPDP SCRIPT Standard is the electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) standard created to facilitate the transfer of prescription data between pharmacies, prescribers, intermediaries, facilities, and payers.
The current version of the standard, NCPDP SCRIPT Standard v10.6, is being replaced by the updated standard version, NCPDP SCRIPT Standard v2017071. This updated standard version was adopted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on April 16, 2018 (the published Final Rule date) as the official Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit e-prescribing standard.
The updated NCPDP SCRIPT Standard v2017071 has a CMS implementation date of January 1, 2020 while the current NCPDP SCRIPT Standard v10.6 has a CMS sunset date of December 31, 2019.
UPDATE: On March 27, 2020, due to ongoing developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Surescripts informed all customers impacted by the SCRIPT migration that we’ve decided to adjust our plan to complete the network-wide migration to NCPDP’s new SCRIPT standard Version 2017071 by December 1, 2020. This means we will be establishing a new sunset date for SCRIPT Version 10.6, and we will extend our translation services accordingly. Importantly, this change is only due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is not related to the new rules from ONC and CMS, as the rules do not require us to change the sunset date.
Visit our Intelligence in Action portal for updates on NCPDP SCRIPT Standard v2017071.
Adoption of the NCPDP SCRIPT Standard v2017071 is required to maintain legal and regulatory compliance as well as interoperability across the Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) ecosystem.
The NCPDP SCRIPT Standard v2017071 will modernize e-prescribing and medication history, improve patient safety and prescription accuracy while creating workflow efficiencies for healthcare providers and pharmacies.
The NCPDP SCRIPT Standard v2017071 will also help minimize manual processes that currently require healthcare providers and pharmacies to step outside their workflows to exchange critical patient care information. For example, it will enable pharmacies to electronically request prescriptions for medications they have not previously dispensed and will include more data elements as part of a patient’s medication history.
Intelligence in Action portal for updates on NCPDP SCRIPT Standard v2017071.
The following Surescripts solutions are being updated to align to the NCPDP SCRIPT Standard v2017071:
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Final Rule and the CMS Correction to the Final Rule (edits and revisions in the Final Rule document) may be obtained as a download from the US Federal Register:
Click here for the US Federal Register Final Rule
Click here for the CMS Correction to the Final Rule
The NCPDP SCRIPT Standard v2017071 materials are available to NCPDP members on the NCPDP website’s SCRIPT Standards page:
Which you can find here
The US Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Part 1311 audit requirements should be evaluated in consultation with your legal counsel and/or a Part 1311 Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances (EPCS) auditor to determine if an audit would be necessary for your products NCPDP SCRIPT Standard v2017071 upgrade.
XML message examples can be found in the NCPDP SCRIPT Standard v2017071 Examples Guide (see FAQ#4, “How may I obtain a copy of the NCPDP SCRIPT Standard v2017071 documents?”, on how to obtain this guide from NCPDP).
In addition, the e-Prescribing and Medication History Message Manager is pre-populated with a variety of example messages that users can send to their own application.
Messages occurring between current and updated versions will be automatically translated when appropriate and safe to do so. If it is not appropriate to translate the message due to the content of the message being lost in translation, the message will be rejected with a notice specifying the rejection reason. Translation Matrices have been developed and are available in your Admin Console staging environment:
Please note that it is the responsibility of Network Alliance participants to determine whether conducting transactions using NCPDP SCRIPT version 10.6 following the January 1, 2020 CMS compliance deadline is acceptable based on their individual circumstances. According to guidance issued by CMS on May 9, 2018, CMS expects Part D plans to allow pharmacies to address any implementation issues with the transition to NCPDP SCRIPT version 2017071 without imposing financial penalties.
ONC previously approved the Surescripts §170.315(b)(3) electronic prescribing test method as an alternative for meeting the testing requirements of the ONC Health IT Certification Program for NCPDP SCRIPT version 10.6. We are encouraged by this designation, and continue to work with ONC to secure approval to use our test method as a testing alternative for NCPDP SCRIPT version 2017071 as well.
Surescripts is supporting the transition to the NCPDP SCRIPT version 2017071 through:
In addition, we are building new tools and enhancing existing ones to improve your internal and external testing, certification and implementation efforts. Our goal is to find efficiencies that will reduce implementation timelines and improve your experience. For example, we have:
Reduced the amount of testing needed and the provision of tools to increase configurability with greater efficiency.
In addition, we have built new tools and continue to enhance existing ones to improve your internal and external testing, certification and implementation efforts. Our goal has been to find efficiencies that will reduce implementation timelines and improve your experience. For example, we have:
We understand that adopting the NCPDP SCRIPT Standard v2017071 will be a considerable effort. The amount of work required will depend on your system and company. It is strongly advised that you evaluate the impact of the changes on your organization to assess the level of effort needed to make the transition.
Surescripts is committed to help you make the transition. Through close collaboration with our Network Alliance partners, we are taking a proactive and unified approach to help make the transition as seamless as possible.
For example, Surescripts will continue to provide information on how the updated and current versions differ. This includes changes to schema, business rules, translations, workflow and tools. Our dedicated series of email communications will keep you informed of timelines, tools, procedures, webinars, education, etc. Your Account Manager is available for any questions that you may have.
The following Surescripts documentation is currently available to you in your Admin Console staging environment:
Surescripts will continue to make modifications to our documentation based on our Early Adopter program. As Guides are published and made available in the Admin Console staging environment, we will notify you with our NCPDP SCRIPT Standard v2017071 email communication series.
Whether registering a prescriber for the first time or updating an existing prescriber listing, directory listings are a shared resource on the Surescripts network and it is very important that listings remain consistent and accurate. Our experience with directory management has shown that when information is incorrect, this can lead to future problems experienced by both the prescriber and pharmacies they wish to communicate with such has faxed refill renewal requests and misrouted prescriptions. The following is a best practice approach to properly registering a prescriber within the Surescripts Admin Console to participate in e-prescribing.
Most importantly, Surescripts recommends that the prescriber name be represented as it would in a legal or contract style document. Surescripts currently uses the NPI Registry through NPPES to review, and in questions of discrepancy, be the bases of the directory listing. Surescripts also recommends the address utilize the USPS standard address.
Available fields and descriptions:
(*) Represents those that are REQUIRED fields
In addition to prescription information, the Surescripts network allows doctors to share an array of clinical messages required to manage the care of patients. This includes, but is not limited to: discharge and visit summaries, patient charts, referrals, lab orders and results.
Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) is legal nationwide.
The Surescripts national health information network connects pharmacies, healthcare providers, and software companies serving all care settings – ambulatory, acute, post-acute, long term, and specialty. Integrating electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) within existing technology and workflow requires action from everyone. Join Surescripts in the collaborative effort. Visit www.surescripts.com/EPCS to get started.
To access Surescripts’ services, a prescriber, pharmacy and PBM must use software that has completed the Surescripts certification process. This process validates that the software is able to send and receive electronic messages in accordance with industry standards and that it is providing open choice for medication selection and dispensing location.
Surescripts certifies software used by prescribers, pharmacies and payers/PBMs for access to three core services: Prescription Benefit, Medication History and Prescription Routing. Starting in 2009, Surescripts also introduced a Clinical Messaging service, allowing clinical information to be exchanged between healthcare clinics and physicians.
Certification concentrates on message format and workflow. The software vendor seeking certification is responsible for modifying/building the electronic prescribing application in accordance with the Surescripts Implementation Guides and qualitative requirements. Surescripts provides documentation and testing tools for the software vendor and conducts certification to ensure all the requirements are met. The software vendor is responsible for development, testing, and QA of its application.
Please complete the following form to initiate this process. Be sure to complete all fields or the form cannot be submitted. Once this has been received a Surescripts representative will follow-up with you regarding next steps.
On average it can take a vendor 3-6 months to complete certification, however, Surescripts cannot estimate how long it will take an individual vendor to complete certification as it is dependent on the individual time and resources the vendor is able to put behind their own certification.
Identity proofing, also known as ID proofing, is the process of verifying that a person is who he or she claims to be. ID proofing is a common practice across industries, including such common tasks as renewing a driver's license, securing new employment, or opening a bank account. Identity proofing, including both in-person and remote ID proofing, is critically important as the first step for the secure electronic exchange of health information.
There are a number of reasons EHR vendors and aggregators should ensure the identity of their customers:
As a Surescripts network participant, you have legal obligations that require you, as a vendor, to ensure that your customers are (1) who they claim to be; and (2) authorized by law to access and use the type of information for which access is granted (e.g., for e-prescribing or sending/receiving clinical information).
Currently, Surescripts certification does not address identity proofing, so additional measures must be taken to ensure the security of all vendor applications.
There are varying methods for ensuring a person's identity and how much confidence (or assurance) one can place in the identity proofing process. The more robust the process, the greater assurance there is that the person is who they claim to be. The U.S. government and other parties have set four levels of assurance, Assurance Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4, developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. While there is no single standard for ID proofing for e-prescribing, Surescripts encourages all EHR vendors to target at least Assurance Level 2 and consider industry best practices to ensure the security of all participants on our network. Surescripts does not dictate the mechanism or manner by which EHR vendors and aggregators choose to implement identity proofing processes that best suit their business model.
Physicians interested in e-prescribing must use e-prescribing software or an Electronic Health Record (EHR) that has been certified to connect to the Surescripts network.
If your practice already has an EHR system, it is likely that your system has been certified by Surescripts. You simply need to contact your vendor representative and ask about getting connected to the Surescripts network.
If you do not yet have an EHR or e-prescribing software in your practice, you will need to acquire a solution that fits your practice needs. A comprehensive list of e-prescribing technologies that have been certified by Surescripts is available on our web site.
Physicians are able to exchange clinical messages over the Surescripts network if their EHR vendor, HIE or HISP is connected to the Surescripts network. In addition, providers affiliated with EHNAC/DirectTrust accredited* organizations can exchange clinical messages with Surescripts users as a result of participation in the EHNAC/DirectTrust accredication program (DTAAP). Click here for a list of organizations connected to the Surescripts network for Clinical Network Services.
Surescripts does not sell, develop, or endorse e-prescribing or EHR software. Instead, Surescripts works with existing medical software companies to certify their prescribing software for access to the Surescripts network. This enables you to choose the software that best suits the needs of your practice. Additionally, Surescripts works with EHR vendors to implement clinical messaging services.
Surescripts’ services are ultimately designed to improve care outcomes, increase efficiency, and reduce healthcare costs by connecting care providers and enabling broad health information exchange within communities and across the country. Collaboration is crucial to achieving intelligent healthcare, where doctors and patients can make the most informed decisions and, in doing so, improve health outcomes and decrease costs.
There are no transaction fees for prescribers to access or use the networking services provided by Surescripts.
However, prescribers must use an electronic prescribing system that is certified to connect to the Surescripts network before they can send and receive prescription information. A practice may be using a certified application already or it may need to acquire a new certified application. Costs for these systems are set by the companies that provide them. Systems that are certified to connect to the Surescripts network range from simple electronic prescribing software to full-featured EMR systems.
The only time your practice would incur transaction fees for e-prescribing would be if the vendor you select charged your practice a transaction fee. Most vendors do not charge practices a transaction fee, but be sure to ask your potential vendors about this during system selection.
Prescribers can check to see if their electronic prescribing system is certified by clicking here.
You can search for e-prescribing enabled pharmacies by using the search feature located at the top of every page on our website. If a pharmacy that you are you are not able to locate within your e-prescribing/EHR application is listed as enabled for e-prescribing on the Surescripts website, this may indicate that your pharmacy directory is incomplete or outdated.
We recommend that all certified vendors pull partial directory updates on a nightly basis from Surescripts and provide these updates to their customers with 24 hours. Vendors should also pull a complete directory update at least once per week and provide this data to their customers within 24 hours.
Once the vendor has pulled a directory update from Surescripts they may automatically push the update to their customer or may require the customer to obtain the updated directory information. Please work with your e-prescribing/EHR vendor to understand how pharmacy directory updates are received into your e-prescribing/EHR application.
Yes - although this process can make it difficult for pharmacies to match the new prescription order to the original request. As a result the pharmacy may send a duplicate renewal request or follow-up with a phone call to your office to ensure that the request is responded to. To prevent this from happening, please place a note on your new e-prescription that states that the prescription is a response to a separate renewal request and include the original prescription number. E.g.) "Relates to Rx#123456" or "Relates to faxed Rx#123456" Remember, any request for a controlled substance must be responded to in accordance with DEA requirements. And, if you feel that you are getting a significant number of faxed requests from pharmacies that should be sending them to your practice electronically, please report them to your vendor.
Although in most circumstances electronic prescribing can replace voice and paper-based communications with a totally electronic process, there are exceptions.
1. Have you sent at least 5 new prescriptions electronically?
Pharmacies will begin sending refill requests electronically once a prescriber sends at least five new prescriptions electronically via the Surescripts network. This is to help ensure that your practice has been trained on your e-prescribing orEMRsystem and is ready to receive and respond to refill requests electronically.
Additionally, the pharmacies need time to update their prescriber directories once they recognize that you are using your system to send new prescriptions electronically. The amount of time varies by pharmacy.
2. Is the pharmacy that faxed the refill request enabled for e-prescribing?
More than 91% of the nation's pharmacies are enabled for e-prescribing. However, pharmacies that are not yet enabled for e-prescribing will continue to fax refill requests to you. You can search for e-prescribing enabled pharmacies by using the search feature located at the top of every page on our web site.
3. Is the renewal request from a mail order pharmacy?
Although six of the largest mail order pharmacies are connected to the Surescripts network, not all e-prescribing software vendors are certified to process prescription renewal requests electronically from mail-order pharmacies. You can search for e-prescribing enabled pharmacies by using the search feature located at the top of every page on our web site.
4. Have you been responding to renewal requests within the last 24 hours?
To help ensure that patients' refill requests are processed in a timely manner, some pharmacies will automatically fax a duplicate refill request if they do not hear back from you within 24 hours.
5. Is your demographic information complete in the Surescripts Directory?
Pharmacies rely on the Surescripts directory to identify various locations where prescribers can receive Electronic Renewal Requests. If your information is incomplete or does not include all physical address locations at which you can receive renewals, pharmacies may assume you cannot e-prescribe, or cannot e-prescribe at that location, and will therefore send you a fax. Surescripts provides an online search tool that you can utilize to review your information. Your prescriber record should match the information found on your prescription forms. If it does not match, please contact your e-prescribing or EMR technology vendor to have this information corrected through your normal support desk process.
Finally, there is the chance that your individual prescriber record did not get updated correctly in the pharmacies' systems. This should be reported to your e-prescribing/EMR software vendor as soon as possible so that the pharmacies can be contacted and the problem can be investigated. Be prepared to provide specific examples of the faxed renewal requests so a support ticket can be generated for proper research and resolution at the pharmacy level.
Download our Best Practices for the Provider Renewal Workflow
Although the vast majority of e-prescriptions are dispensed without incident, issues such as mishandled prescriptions may occur from time to time.
What to do:
If an electronic prescription is sent to a pharmacy that is not setup for e-prescribing, the Rx will automatically be sent by fax to the pharmacy if your EHR vendor subscribes to the Surescripts fax directory (please check with your vendor to see if they subscribe). For all others circumstances, and dependent upon the urgency of the Rx, we suggest calling the pharmacy and arranging an alternate process for sending the Rx.
We strongly advise you to contact/log a case with your prescriber technology/EHR vendor to report these errors and follow-up to ensure they’re resolved.
For patients, an important advantage of a prescription being sent electronically is that the message is already formatted in such a way that the pharmacy computer can assimilate the information for rapid dispensing. You also have the comfort of knowing that an accurate, legible prescription will arrive at the pharmacy and that it won't get lost, misplaced, destroyed or forgotten by the patient. Plus, patients can avoid making one trip to the pharmacy to drop off a prescription and another to pick it up.
No. Information sent over the Surescripts network is private and confidential. It is not shared with any third party.
The physician should communicate this change to his/her software vendor. The vendor will disable the prescriber's record in the Surescripts Directory so that no additional prescription renewals will be sent to the prescriber from pharmacies. Any additional new prescriptions sent by this prescriber would be returned in error by Surescripts.
Your e-prescribing/EMR vendor representative should always be your point of contact for technical support. If at any time your vendor believes Surescripts assistance is needed they will contact Surescripts on your behalf. They should never instruct you to contact Surescripts directly.
Surescripts plays no role in providing a drug database, or facilitating the provision of drug database information within e-prescribing applications. E-prescribing software/EMR vendors typically hold a relationship with third-party database providers for this purpose. Please ask your e-prescribing/EMR vendor for more information on how your system receives and integrates the drug database information.
Surescripts has enabled a new message type called Rx Change (RXCHG) that allows the pharmacy to send a message electronically to a prescriber to request authorization to make a change to a prescription. This is a feature that is part of a new version of the electronic prescribing standard created by NCPDP. Reach out to your e-prescribing/EHR software vendor for information with respect to the NCPDP SCRIPT 10.6 implementation/certification and ask if their software supports the Rx Change transaction.
Yes. Surescripts has enabled a new message type called Cancel (CANRX) that allows the prescriber to send a message electronically to a pharmacy to cancel therapy on a previously prescribed medication or prescription. This feature is part of a new version of the electronic prescribing standard created by NCPDP. Reach out to your EHR vendor for information on their status with respect to "NCPDP SCRIPT 10.6 implementation/certification". You should also check with your software vendor to see if your system is capable of receiving and processing Cancel transactions.
Surescripts does not develop, sell or endorse e-prescribing software but instead works with existing vendors to certify their technologies to connect to the Surescripts network. This process ensures that electronic prescribing solutions are able to send and receive supported electronic messages and that the solution is providing open choice for medication selection and dispensing location. Additionally, the process ensures that the technology systems work in accordance with industry-accepted standards for the electronic exchange of prescription data between physicians and pharmacies.
A complete list of certified pharmacy software systems can be found at the following link. If your pharmacy software is on this list and you are not yet enabled for e-prescribing, contact your vendor to request the e-prescribing functionality.
Surescripts charges a transaction fee to pharmacy vendors. In all cases, your pharmacy management system vendor determines what it charges your pharmacy.
Surescripts does not set the price or billing structure charged by the vendor to their pharmacy customers. Surescripts charges vendors for the following transactions: new
prescriptions, renewal responses, and two optional transactions-change requests and cancel transaction.
Your pharmacy directory information is maintained directly by your pharmacy management system vendor. You will need to contact your vendor to have any updates applied. If your vendor requires any assistance in applying the updates, they will log a ticket with Surescripts on your behalf. If you need additional help after working with your vendor, we recommend you contact Surescripts Independent Pharmacy Help Line (IPL) at 1-877-877-3962.
The physician is asking for your NCPDP number. He or she likely wants to add your pharmacy into their e-prescribing application if you are capable of receiving e-prescriptions but not listed in their system.
In order for a pharmacy or DME company to be connected for e-prescribing you must be using a certified pharmacy management system. Click here to see if your system has already completed certification with Surescripts. If you are already using a certified software system please contact your vendor for further information on becoming enabled for e-prescribing. If your software vendor is not yet certified, please contact them directly regarding their plans to become certified and allow their pharmacy customers to connect for e-prescribing.
Learn more about how Surescripts is serving the Long Term Care market.
If your pharmacy management system is certified to connect to the Surescripts network, you simply contact your pharmacy software vendor, ask them to enable your e-prescribing functionality, and specify that you want to be connected to the Surescripts network. Pharmacies should ask their vendor:
Click here to see if your pharmacy software system has been certified by Surescripts.
Your connection to the Surescripts network enables you to:
*This functionality may not be available in all pharmacy software applications. Please contact your pharmacy software vendor to ensure they are certified for and have implemented these transaction types. You may also need to update your software to ensure that your pharmacy management system is capable of these transactions.
In order for a pharmacy to send a refill request electronically to a prescriber, the pharmacy must have the individual prescriber's SPI number matched correctly within their pharmacy management system. If a prescriber contacts you stating that renewal requests from your store are arriving by fax, you likely need to update that prescriber's information in your database. For a complete list of enabled prescribers and their SPI information please visit www.surescripts.com/spi. Contact your chain headquarters' support desk to have the system updated to generate refill requests electronically to these prescribers.
Your customer relationship is with your pharmacy management software vendor, so please report all issues directly to them. As the experts on your pharmacy management software, the vendor is the best resource to troubleshoot the problem. If your vendor cannot determine the issue, they will report it to Surescripts. Once the issue is resolved, Surescripts will notify your vendor, who should then let you know that it’s been resolved.
If you believe you have received inappropriate duplicate messages you will need to contact your vendor to determine their policy on how to report this issue and how to request a refund. Most vendors require documentation, so please be prepared to provide the specific occurrences of these duplicate messages for any reporting and/or research to take place. Surescripts will work with your vendor to determine why the duplicate messages occurred and to determine if a refund to your vendor is warranted. Any potential refunds to your pharmacy will be provided directly by your vendor - not by Surescripts.
This indicates that the prescriber you are attempting to send to does not accept renewal requests. They only have the ability to transmit new prescriptions to your pharmacy. This could also be caused by attempting to transmit a renewal request to an outdated prescriber SPI number. Your pharmacy management system vendor is responsible for providing you with the necessary tools and training to maintain your prescriber directory and allow you to differentiate those prescribers that accept electronic renewal requests and those that do not accept them. If you think you have inaccurate information in your directories please contact your vendor.
Surescripts also maintains a list of e-prescribing enabled physicians and their corresponding SPI information for those that accept renewal requests at www.surescripts.com/SPI. This as a supplemental resource you can utilize along with the tools provided by your vendor to assist in maintaining your prescriber directory.
Note: When viewing the report on the Surescripts website, those prescribers that do not accept renewal requests are listed at the bottom of the report by name only. The pharmacy does not need the prescriber's SPI number loaded into their system to receive new prescriptions. The SPI is only needed to transmit renewal requests electronically.
When a prescriber responds to a refill request he may change the following fields: number of refills, written date, notes in the response segment, and substitution. However, if the prescriber needs to make any other changes, a new prescription must be written. The "Denied, New to Follow" (DNTF) transaction allows the pharmacist to distinguish between instances when the prescriber will follow up with a new prescription versus simply denying a refill request; the DNTF transaction closes the loop and prevents the need for further phone calls or other communication. While DNTF responses are appropriate in some circumstances, they are not always used as originally intended and may result in additional charges for single prescriptions. As of May 1, 2013, Surescripts no longer charges for DNTF response messages for both retail and mail order prescriptions.
Contact your pharmacy software vendor with examples of poor quality or miswritten electronic prescriptions. All electronic prescriptions are routed through your software vendor, therefore they will be able to investigate this and determine if it’s an issue with the EHR. If needed, they will log a case with Surescripts.
It is extremely important to report these cases to your pharmacy software vendor so that they can investigate and log a support case with Surescripts who then will research the matter and if needed contact the prescribers’ EHR vendor for further action and complete issue resolution.
Surescripts has enabled a new message type called Rx Change (RXCHG) that allows the pharmacy to send a message electronically to a prescriber to request authorization to make a change to a prescription. This is a feature that is part of a new version of the electronic prescribing standard created by NCPDP. Reach out to your pharmacy software vendor for information with respect to the "NCPDP SCRIPT 10.6 implementation/certification" and ask if their software supports the Rx Change transaction.
A mutual non-disclosure agreement and contract need to be in place. Then an implementation project is launched between your IT staff and the implementation managers at Surescripts. Industry approved transactions are certified from your system to our network. These transactions include membership loads, formulary loads, eligibility and prescription history transaction sets and electronic prescription transactions if you offer mail order services. Surescripts works with your IT staff to secure your connection to the Surescripts network.
There is an initial implementation fee that is charged to the payer that connects to Surescripts. The fee varies and is associated with the level of effort for the implementation project. You will pay a fee when Surescripts receives a request for prescription benefit, uniquely identifies your member and then sends a request for prescription benefit for that member to you. You will not pay for any prescription benefit requests that Surescripts is unable to uniquely identify as your member.
Surescripts Medication History for Reconciliation and ED Settings service provides real-time access to the largest set of medication claims and pharmacy fill data available, delivering a more complete picture of the patient at every step - from admission to discharge. This enables more informed treatment decisions across transitions of care, helping to reduce the patient risk of ADEs.
Pharmacy Fill and PBM claims data include:
Hospitals and other acute care settings interesting in gaining access to this service should contact a technology vendor that has been certified for the service. A list of certified vendors can be found here. If your hospital uses software from Epic, Meditech, or Siemens, contact Surescripts directly to learn more.
Hospitals and other acute care settings interesting in gaining access to our services should contact a technology vendor that has been certified for Surescripts’ medication history services. A list of certified vendors can be found here. However, if your hospital uses software from Epic, please contact Surescripts directly to learn more.
E-Prescribing 6.x is Surescripts updated e-prescribing solution that aligns to the NCPDP SCRIPT Standard v2017071.
Yes. The Provider Location and Organization Directories will be updated in Surescripts Directory 6.1 with enhancements and align to the NCPDP SCRIPT Standard v2017071.
March 31, 2020
In the early 2000s, as the nation moved towards e-prescribing, Ken Whittemore Jr. was one of the key drivers and proponents of this new technology. By 2007, as a result of the efforts of Surescripts and other stakeholders, e-prescribing had become legal in all 50 states. Three years later, the regulatory climate was ready for the next leap in e-prescribing: in March 2010, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued an Interim Final Rule (IFR) allowing for the electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) across the nation.
March 09, 2020
Surescripts supports the goal of this rule, to support seamless and secure access, exchange, and use of electronic health information. Based on our experience building and operating a nationwide, interoperable network for nearly 20 years, we recognize the important role we play in supporting and enabling our partners in the Surescripts Network Alliance.